Tuesday, February 28, 2006

A doc is only as good as the office they keep

Called the doc's at 9:15 AM and got their "our office is closed" answering machine. WTF? They are supposed to be open at 9. Lazy buggers.

Waited from 9:15 AM until 1:30 PM for my doctor to call. In meantime, the pharmacy calls. Dinks asthma meds are ready. Perfect. Flipped a coin, bundled the child, jumped in the car, and went to get meds. Came home. Doctor's office called and left a message.

Do these bastards have radar? They either call back when I step far away enough from the phone that I can't get it in four rings, or I step out to do something. That "something" could be as benign as picking up the mail from the post box.

So I call right back. Answering machine. Again. This time the message was "We're on break". Okay. No prob. We all have to eat. Left message two - slightly sterner.

Waited and waited and waited. Watched brain melting children's television shows. Kipper is quite the philosopher. Waited and waited and waited. Got conned into playing Candyland. I hate that game. Waited and waited and waited. Decided to pull energy together and clean the house. Well, I vacuumed. Talked to my mum. Gave her the 411. Waited and waited and mother lovin' waited. Cooked dinner. Geo came home.

Phone rang! But only Dinks heard it (it was in the bedroom).

She yells, "I get it, I get it!" I realize what she means, run, stumble over child, grab phone and pacify trampled child, and it was dead (the phone, not the child). Checked Caller ID. Yep! It was them. Called RIGHT back. GOT.THE.ANSWERING.DEVICE.AGAIN! And it was the "Office is closed" message. ARGH!

If it was a cuss word, it was being used. In my head. I didn't want to cuss in my message. but this message was sterner and hinted of being beyond annoyed.

Now, I'll call them today and get "Well, we did call you twice!" Fair enough. They did. They had nine hours to call me and they called twice. So, after I barrage them with annoying calls and or messages, AND I get my friggin appointment and the drugs I need, I'm switching doctors.


Jaded&Opinionated said...

I switched docs for similar reasons... impossible to get a hold of them. And when in the office a few times, I watched the receptionists put on the answering machine or busy out all the phones so they didn't have to listen to the ringing. I was like, um, HELLO...your effin JOB is to answer the PHONE!! I even told them once that I was so sorry to be an inconvenience, and I'm sure that the Cosmo was infinitely more interesting, but they should never make the mistake of believing that they worked in the medical field. I assured these lazy ass people that they were in the customer service field, whether they wear scrubs or not. And since I was a customer, it was their job to put the effin Cosmo down and provide me with service! This did not go over well. Then, after a 2 hour wait to see the doctor (I'd made the appointment weeks in advance) I went home and got a new doc. Sometimes they take a couple hours to call back, but usually not. And the longest I've waited to see the doc is 45 minutes, and that was when I got worked in because I was sick.

If more people refused to put up with that crap, fewer doctors would allow it to happen. Oh, and I filled out a review thingy from my insurance company and gave them a negative review. I liked the doctor, but to get to him, you had to get through the reception gestapo, and they were all under the impression that they were way too important to deal with the patients. (Oh, and the packed waiting room erupted into applause when I went off...I never raised my voice, but I didn't whisper either, lol)

S.I.D. said...

Next time you need a doctor, go to medical school,study hard,do the exams,pass, treat yourself.

Probably quicker.

Britt said...

Here is the issue. I know that people are sick and they make appointments BUT when I am ill DO NOT TELL ME that I have to wait FOUR DAYS for an appointment. Just don't do it. I could be dead by then. How do you schedule getting sick??

Spikey1 said...

Move forward 2 blue squares! ;)

Whinger said...

Arrrgh....I HATE this. I actually switched insurance to Kaiser, as while I don't get as much of the personal attention, I'm always GUARANTEED that I can get in to see SOMEONE.

Bradley Egel said...

My wife and I like to say, "Nobody can do anything right."

It seems that way with these types of situations!

The Egel Nest

Anonymous said...

Next time give them your cell number. That way, you always have it on you and you can get the meds you desperately need without having to worry about a missed call. I switched insurance for the same reason. I think it's ridiculus, especially if it's for little ones, to wait that long for a call and to be seen in the doctor's office.


Francesca said...


(Laughing at sid's comment! That was cute!)

Ahhh well...again, hope you are better soon!


CP said...

*coughs* Um, er...nurse here.

Can I give you MY take on this? First and foremost, don't blame the doctor. Blame the office manager. Most of the time, a doctor has NO clue what is going on at the front desk. They are too busy treating patients to give a damn about that. That is why they have office managers. Next time you don't hear from staff, say, fine...may I speak to your office manager please?

Watch how fast you get through to a nurse. *nods*

Second? Remember that the people at the front desk do not always reflect the nursing staff. We know not to keep people waiting for four days who are really sick, but sometimes, medical receptionists get on power trips. It's sad, I know, but it happens. If you are genuinely sick, ask to speak to a NURSE.

Lastly? Blame some of the patients for us not being able to return calls promptly. Blame the patients who keep us on the phone for HOURS instead of making an appt and coming in. Blame the ones who don't listen to our instructions when they DO come in, and then, call back to say "what do I do again?" Blame the "squeaky wheels" that call up the office demanding to speak with someone RIGHT THIS MINUTE. Then, they ask a stupid question that could have waited until after hours. These people prevent us from getting to those who are truly in need.

Anyway, now that I have blogged on your blog...*L* Sorry! Thanks for stopping by at MINE, Maidink!


Maidink said...

Jade - I threatened a doctor's office receptionist before. She was a grade "A" bee-otch. That was my late husband's doctor. I hated that place. He died, and I never had to deal with them again.

SID - Google search and WebMD. Quicker and cheaper. Getting scrips is a bitch, but thhat's only a slight drawback.

Britt - I, unfortunately or fortunately (depending on your view), have a really good doctor; hence, the office is always packed. If I am on the verge of death, the office wiil call the local hospital's ER to tell them I'm en route. That's better than an ER cold visit, and the service is quicker with the doctor referral. I actually had to do that twice with no problems.

Spikey1 - It looks like I landed on gooey licorice. I lose a turn. Oh darn.

Whinger - We have to look for a doc for Geo. He needs one with weekend hours. My late husband's doc would fit the bill, but I'd rather drink battery acid with a salt water chaser than go there.

Egel - At least your wife should have a good go at the OB/GYN's. She'll be there A LOT!!! :)

Shell - Dink's doctor is awesome. I wish I could be their patient.

Fran - Glad someone can giggle around here. :)

CP - Point well taken, CP. My mum always tells me to be a "squeaky wheel". I hate squeaky wheels.

And thanks for visiting.